Golden Apple Cinema Liptovsky Mikulas

Kamenne pole 4449/3,
Liptovsky Mikulas SK-031 01

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Golden Apple Cinema Liptovsky Mikulas opened on 6th December 2013, on the Day of Saint Nicolaus, on a day when children are given sweets, when they behaved well during the last year. Along with the theater the renovated shopping center RGB Liptov with a day-long show opened. Among the first screened movies were animated films “Despicable Me 2”, “Planes”, “Smurfs 2”, “The Croods”, “Turbo” for children, and “Avatar”, “Thor: The Dark World” or “Gravity” for grownups.

The first report on the possible construction of a miniplex appeared as early as 2011, construction of the extension of the shopping center started in 2012 and was completed with a delay of two months in December 2013.

It was only a matter of time when the first multiscreen cinema will be opened in Liptovsky Mikulas. Although the operator stated tourism as the main reason when he applied for a grant, there was another obvious reason. The city has one of the most successful single-screen cinemas in the Slovak Republic (Kino Nicolaus), which in average attendance per screening ranks right behind the multiscreen theaters in the republic.

According to the homepage of RGB Liptov (Red Green Blue) the shopping zone Kamenne pole (Stone field) is the largest shopping zone in the region of Liptov. This region is one of the most important touristic destinations in Slovakia, with the largest ski center (Jasna, Low Tatra) and the largest aqua park (Tatralandia) in the country. Originally, in 2010, the shopping center was a furniture store (called IDEA), which was structurally connected to a large grocery store (Tesco). Later, the center owner quickly enough saw a chance, seeing that the whole area has become very popular among shoppers. Although Liptovsky Mikulas has many shopping centers, no operator was willing to risk to build a multiscreen cinema. Thanks to that the shopping center RGB Liptov received a competitive advantage. It cannot be expected that another theater in the city or surrounding area will be built soon, because the purchasing power isn’t growing very well lately. It will be interesting to watch if anchor tenants show interests to settle here down, since one of them (C&A) is in Liptovsky Mikulas already present. While the center has solid foundations, the theater stands on pillars and covers the supply road.

Golden Apple Cinemas Liptovsky Mikulas has 3 screens and a total capacity of 460 seats. Each auditorium has seats in a different color. The biggest auditorium ® has seats in red and total capacity of 210 seating options. The second auditorium (B) has a seating capacity of 139 and the seats are coated with a blue coating. The smallest hall (B) has 111 green seats. Each auditorium has two seats reserved for wheelchair users and a combination of both standard and double seats (Love Seats).

The theater uses Barco digital projectors (DCP30 SX II and two DCP30 LX II) and GDC cinema servers. Screens R and B are 3D-capable and use the Dolby 3D system. Although the site can screen 3D-movies in HFR (High Frame Rate) on its largest screen, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug couldn’t be screened, because the operator didn’t attend to the formal testing that took place before the launch of the theater. Also the 4K resolution of the DCP30 SX II Barco projector can’t be seen as a huge competitive advantage, because movies in 4K quality are distributed to Slovakia or Czech Republic rarely. All three auditoriums have the audio standard Dolby Surround 7.1.

Golden Apple Cinema received a grant of 27,500 euros for buying one of the digital projectors, almost the whole sum the operator asked for (or 49 percent of the total costs). The evaluators rated the project as one of the best ever. The transfer of know how thus paid off very well. Besides the obligatory screening of European films the operator also promised several film festivals and screenings of films for Russian on Polish tourists with subtitles or dubbed to their language. The promised festivals included an International festival of outdoor films, Visegrad shorts on tour or Echoes of the Zlin Film Festival.

Thanks to the opening in Liptovsky Mikulas Golden Apple Cinema became a cinema chain. Interestingly, the operator didn’t expand at home – in the Czech Republic, but chose an extension of its activities to another country. In the Czech Republic Golden Apple operates a six screen theater in the city of Zlin in the east of the country. The owners of Golden Apple Cinema found in Slovakia a partner who has a one-third interest in the subsidiary operating the Liptovsky Mikulas site.

Possible future competitors may occur in 30 km distant town Ruzomberok, which also has a very successful single-screen cinema (Kino Kultura). A shopping center project, which could include a multiscreen cinema (AuPark Ruzomberok), however, was canceled. Although Liptovsky Mikulas has a number of other shopping centers, it is very unlikely that either of them will try to open a theater in the next decade. Prospects for a rapid return on investment in Golden Apple Cinema are therefore quite good. Particularly important will be how the operator is able to serve tourists during the winter season.

Contributed by Ing. Juraj Misun, PhD.
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